Record defying opening day for Athletics31.08.2012
With 11 gold medals up for grabs, the morning session kicked-off with an impressive start: four world records were broken.
The first Paralympic medal ceremony in the Olympic Stadium was the women’s long jump F37/38 which saw Margarita Goncharova of Russia standing at the top of the podium after her Paralympic record jump of 4.84m.
Recently transformed from the Opening Ceremony just 36 hours prior, the Olympic Stadium was the setting for the first day of athletics in front of sold-out crowd.
With 11 gold medals up for grabs, the morning session kicked-off with an impressive start in the men’s club throw F31/32/51 with Serbian athlete Zeljko Dimitrijevic securing the new world record of 26.88m with his first attempt.
He kept the lead through to the end and will be presented with his gold medal in the evening session. Securing the silver medal was Radim Beles of Czech Republic, and Algeria’s Lahouari Bahlaz took bronze in the event.
The women’s 100m T34 second heat was a truly record-breaking race with British star Hannah Cockroft setting a new Paralympic record of 18.24. The stadium holds a good omen for the 20-year-old who previously secured the 100m world record at the venue during a test event in May.
Commenting after the race, Cockroft said: "I've never competed in front of so many people before. When they said my name, the crowd went mental and I was a little scared.
“I was told exactly what to focus on, what speed I needed to take. And I nailed it. So, hopefully, I will do the same tonight. It was a little scary. It was just a bit surreal."
Other records in the race included a world record Rosemary Little of Australia for the T33 classification and a regional record for Yousra Ben Jemaa.
The first Paralympic medal ceremony in the Olympic Stadium was the women’s long jump F37/38 which saw Margarita Goncharova of Russia standing at the top of the podium after her Paralympic record jump of 4.84m. Inna Stryzhak of Ukraine claimed the silver medal and China’s Yuanhang Cao was awarded bronze.
The crowd were on their feet to celebrate the first British medal awarded in the Olympic stadium as Aled Davies proudly took bronze in the men’s shot put F42/44. The gold medal went to Denmark’s Jackie Christiansen and silver to Darko Kralj of Croatia.
In the women’s discus throw F35/36, China's Qing Wu took gold, Ukraine’s Mariia Pomazan grabbed silver and Australia's Katherine Proudfoot claimed bronze.
In the women’s 5000m T54 Shelly Woods of Great Britain gave the crowd something to cheer about as she qualified in third place of the first heat. Switzerland’s Edith Wolf secured the fastest qualifying time of 12:23.61, closely followed by world record holder Diane Roy of Canada and Paralympic record holder Wakako Tsuchida of Japan.
Samwel Mushai Kimani and guide James Boit of Kenya qualified in the quickest time for the men’s 1500m T11 final with a personal best of 4:09.44 in the first heat. He is joined in the final by world record holder Odair Santos of Brazil, who was quickest in the second heat and the third fastest qualifier.
In the men’s 400m T13 Mohamed Amguoun of Morocco broke the Paralympic record with a time of 49.04 to secure his place in the final.